What started as a humorous exchange on social media between a police department and a wanted criminal that went viral ended in a changed man.
Everyone has a past that they may not be quick to talk about, likely littered with poor decisions and bad choices. None are perfect. All have their flaws, failures and imperfections. That's why a little bit of grace, kindness and hope can go a long way, which is what happened in the case of Anthony Akers.
In late November 2018, Anthony Akers went viral on social media, but not for the best reason. On Facebook, the Richland, Washington Police Department posted a mugshot and, in the caption, wrote that they were looking for Anthony Akers. The 38-year-old was wanted for failure to comply.
The department likely wasn't expecting what happened next.
One of the first comments on the post was from Anthony himself. He wrote that the department needed to "calm down, im (sic) going to turn myself in."
His comment led to a back and forth with the department. Anthony informed the law enforcement officials he had planned to turn himself in "in the next 48 hours."
But following that exchange, Anthony had a choice: make significant life changes or go to prison for several years.
In an interview with KEPR, Anthony admits he was in a "dark place."
“It’s kind of hard thinking about talking to myself back then," he said. "Because I wasn’t listening to much. I was in a dark place."
Anthony Was Given An Opportunity, A Little Bit Of Hope
He adds that he was in "active addiction" and "incarcerated after that for a new crime."
But then Anthony, a Navy veteran, was given an opportunity and a little hope. He was offered the chance to enroll in Veterans Court, an offer he took immediately, according to KEPR.
“At the time, I didn't have a lot of hope for much, you know," Anthony said. "I kind of expected to end up in prison. But knowing it was a veteran program that gave me a little bit of hope."
Anthony used Veteran's Court, during which he attended meetings, and a veterans' forum and made court appearances, to sober up and change his life for the better.
After graduating from Veterans Court, Anthony got himself a job and a fiancée.
He told the station that he is eternally grateful for the help and assistance those in the Veterans Court program gave to him. It literally changed his life.
“I couldn't have asked for a better group of individuals to be accountable to," he said. "They bent over backwards to make sure I made it through but didn't give in too much to where I could revert back to my old ways.”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Husband’s Facebook Post About How He ‘Cheated On His Wife’ At Target
Anthony’s story shows an opportunity and a little hope, mercy and grace can make all the difference in someone’s life.
"Now may the God of hope make you full of joy and peace through faith, so that all hope may be yours in the power of the Holy Spirit." – Romans 15:13
WATCH: Wanted Man Changes Life After Hilarious, Viral Exchange With Law Enforcement
LISTEN: Man Wanted To Make Sure Veterans Were Honored And His Efforts Started A Chain Reaction
Featured Image Credit: Facebook.com/Ellie In Space